Below is a message our managing partner, Jeff Gray, sent to the firm regarding how we can take action against systemic racism and injustice.
In the past few days since I first communicated about George Floyd, the passion and emotion has grown, as have calls for action. But, the need to reform an unjust system is not new. I don’t know what it is like to walk in the shoes of my black friends and colleagues, and I’m not going to pretend that I do. But what happened to George Floyd was wrong and that such tragedies continue to happen angers us all.
To our black attorneys and staff members, whatever you may be feeling – anger, frustration, depression, exhaustion – please know that it matters to your colleagues. Since the pandemic hit, I have often said that “we’re all in this together.” That concept is not something we selectively apply. It applies equally to listening, supporting and just being there for you now.
As mass demonstrations continue across the country, many of our lawyers and staff have asked how we can help fight systemic racism and injustice, combat unjust policies and practices that disproportionately affect communities of color, and how we can generally support the broader Black Lives Matter movement. Our Pro Bono and Social Impact team is collaborating with leading national civil rights organizations and community-based nonprofits to identify opportunities for attorneys and staff to advocate for reform, and advance equity and justice for impacted communities. Those opportunities are being posted on the Race Equity + Justice and Protestor Rights section of our Pro Bono Portal. We’ll provide more information about how both attorneys and staff can get involved in our efforts to take action for change at our June firm-wide Town Hall.
All of us, personally and as a firm, must commit to taking action and keeping the momentum going for as long as it takes to effect meaningful change.